Karina LeBlanc

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Karina LeBlanc
Karina LeBlanc 2013-05-04 Spirit - Thorns-142.jpg
LeBlanc playing for Portland in 2013
Personal information
Full nameKarina Chenelle LeBlanc
Date of birth (1980-03-30) March 30, 1980 (age 40)
Place of birth Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in) [1]
Playing position(s) Goalkeeper
College career
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1997–2000 Nebraska Cornhuskers 80 (0)
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
2001–2003 Boston Breakers 2 (0)
2004 Montreal Xtreme 1 (0)
2005–2006 New Jersey Wildcats 18 (0)
2009 Los Angeles Sol 19 (0)
2010 Philadelphia Independence 14 (0)
2011 magicJack 1 (0)
2012 Sky Blue FC 0 (0)
2013 Portland Thorns FC 21 (0)
2014–2015 Chicago Red Stars 29 (0)
National team
1998–2015 Canada 110 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of September 6, 2015
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of May 31, 2015

Karina Chenelle LeBlanc (born March 30, 1980) is a retired U.S.-born Canadian soccer goalkeeper who played for the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women's Soccer League and the Canadian national team. [2]

Contents

Early life

LeBlanc was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to a Dominica father (from Portsmouth) [3] and a Jamaican mother, [4] Vans LeBlanc and Winsome LeBlanc, who had temporarily relocated to Atlanta to avoid the dangers of Hurricane David. [5] LeBlanc grew up in Dominica until age eight when her family moved to Maple Ridge, British Columbia. LeBlanc began playing soccer at age 12 and was named one of the top 20 Division I recruits by USA Today in 1997, even though Maple Ridge Secondary School did not have a girls soccer team. She was also an all-provincial basketball player and was voted British Columbia's Most Defensive Player in basketball in 1997. [6]

University of Nebraska

LeBlanc attended the University of Nebraska and earned a degree in business administration. She played goalkeeper for the Nebraska Cornhuskers from 1997 to 2000 and became one of the school's most decorated goalkeepers in the history of the program. She was a finalist for the Hermann Trophy in 2000 and named to the 2001 Umbro Select All-Star Classic Women's Elite College Team. [6] She was also a two-time All-Big 12 selection and was named an All-American. [7]

Playing career

Club

Boston Breakers

LeBlanc played for Boston Breakers in the Women's United Soccer Association, the first women's professional soccer league in the United States.

Montreal Xtreme, New Jersey wildCat

In 2004, she played for the Montreal Xtreme of the W-League followed by the New Jersey Wildcats from 2005 to 2006.

Los Angeles Sol

In 2009, she was acquired in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2009 WPS General Draft by the Los Angeles Sol. She started and played in 19 regular-season matches for the team, saving 78 of 93 shots. LeBlanc was named to the 2009 WPS All-Star Team Starting XI.

Philadelphia Independence

LeBlanc playing for the Philadelphia Independence in 2010 Karina LeBlanc2010.jpg
LeBlanc playing for the Philadelphia Independence in 2010

In 2010, she was selected in the first round (second overall) of the 2010 Los Angeles Sol Dispersal Draft by the Philadelphia Independence.

magicJack

In August 2011, it was reported that LeBlanc had signed with magicJack [8] and stepped in as goalkeeper after Hope Solo was sidelined with an injury. [9]

Sky Blue FC

In December 2011, she was signed to the Sky Blue FC for the 2012 season; however, the WPS league folded before the season began. [10]

Portland Thorns FC

On January 11, 2013, it was announced that LeBlanc was one of two Canadian national team members selected to join the Portland Thorns FC by way of weighted allocation. [11] On January 13, 2014, Portland Thorns FC announced that LeBlanc had been traded to the Chicago Red Stars in exchange for the 2nd round draft pick in the 2015 NWSL College Draft. [12]

Chicago Red Stars

LeBlanc finished her 2014 season with 76 saves and a goal against per game average of 1.0, in 21 matches; just behind league leaders Alyssa Naeher's 106 saves, and Hope Solo's .90 goal against average.

Because of participation in 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup LeBlanc played eight matches for Red Stars in 2015. At the end of 2015 season, LeBlac called it a career and retired from professional soccer. [13] For her performance in her last professional match LeBlanc was named NWSL Player of the week of week 21. [14]

International

LeBlanc represented Canada at five FIFA Women's World Cups, at the 2008 Olympics and at two Pan American Games, winning the gold medal with the national team at the 2011 Pan Am Games by stopping two penalty shots in the final. [15] She made her one hundredth appearance for Canada in March 2012 [16] and later that year was part of the Canadian team that won the bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Prior to 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, LeBlanc announced her retirement from international soccer at the end of the tournament. [16]

Coaching career

LeBlanc served as an assistant coach at Rutgers University from 2005 to 2009. She has also served as a goalkeeper coach with the Canadian under-15 national team, and developed goalkeeping clinics throughout the United States and Canada. [7]

Personal life

LeBlanc was raised Roman Catholic but later became a Baptist while studying in college. [17] LeBlanc married Jason Mathot in October 2016. [18] In April 2020, she gave birth to their daughter. [19]

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References

  1. "2015 World Cup" (PDF).
  2. "Canadians Karina LeBlanc, Candace Chapman join Sky Blue FC of WPS". The Globe and Mail. November 16, 2011. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  3. "Karina LeBlanc, "From Dominica to Canada"". Dominica News Online. October 31, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  4. "Canada Soccer". canadasoccer.com.
  5. "Karina Leblanc: World Class Goal Keeper". The Dominican. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  6. 1 2 "Karina LeBlanc biography". Karina LeBlanc. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  7. 1 2 "Karina LeBlanc assistant coach profile". Rutgers University. Archived from the original on December 18, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  8. "LeBlanc joins magicJack, Maron and Rasmussen move onto Sweden". Equalizer Soccer. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  9. "MagicJack riding high into super semifinals". ESPN. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  10. "Sky Blue FC sign Karina LeBlanc for the WPS season 2012". Women's Soccer United. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  11. "Alex Morgan, Christine Sinclair among first among seven players added to Portland Thorns FC through allocation process". Portland Timbers. Archived from the original on January 13, 2013. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  12. "Thorns FC acquire second-round pick in 2015 NWSL Draft from Chicago in exchange for goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc". Portland Timbers . Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  13. "LeBlanc Announces Retirement From Professional Soccer". Chicago Red Stars. September 4, 2015.
  14. "RED STARS' KARINA LEBLANC VOTED PLAYER OF THE WEEK; LeBlanC helped the Red Stars earn a point at home in a 1-1 draw". nwslsoccer.com.
  15. "Canada wins gold at Guadalajara 2011". Canadian Soccer Association. October 27, 2011. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  16. 1 2 Davidson, Neil (May 28, 2015). "Veteran goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc says retiring at home just feels right". The Vancouver Sun . Postmedia Network . Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  17. Ollie Baines (June 8, 2015). "Former Canadian women's goalkeeper, Karina LeBlanc: "Be God Great"". Cross the Line. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  18. Harrison, Doug (May 4, 2020). "Retired goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc 'stronger' following separation from newborn daughter". CBC. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  19. "Karina LeBlanc: 'Holding my baby again was better than a World Cup game'". May 2, 2020 via www.bbc.com.